Posted 2022-11-07, evaluated by Liontamer
Is there ever a bad time for jazz? There are so many different moods available within the genre, and you'll experience a nice range in the OC Jazz Collective's new album, Mode Seven: A Jazz Tribute to the SNES! For those who fell in love with their take on arguably the SNES's most popular soundtrack, Chrono Trigger, it's time once again to let in the good vibes, with tracks honoring loads of fan favorite Super NES releases. Album director Dylan Wiest shared his recollections on conceptualizing the OCJC's newest efforts and the great results in store:
"After the OC Jazz Collective's in-depth exploration of Chrono Trigger in 2016, I knew that the console which provided us with one of the most memorable gaming experiences of all time deserved its own treatment by the collective. After all, many series of equal stature to Chrono Trigger, such as The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Mario, and Metroid, all released some of their most popular titles on this console which would go on to define their respective genres. While the initial groundwork for Mode Seven: A Jazz Tribute to the SNES began way back in late 2016, multiple circumstances including relocating across the country, personnel changes, the loss of my father (who bought me my SNES in 1996!), and a global pandemic delayed the release until 2022. While Chronology will always hold a special place in my heart, I think that the OCJC has upped their game to a whole new level for Mode Seven. The "dream team" assembled for Chronology has grown in size, and new arrangers, musicians, and a representation of SNES titles both beloved and overlooked have all come together to create a fitting follow up to our first release in 2016."
Respect and appreciation to Dylan's father for helping set him on the path to become such an influential musician, as well as an effective collaborator and leader. We've got our second flood mix from Mode Seven here for you, and this one's arranged by Dylan himself, with a tighter OCJC lineup:
- Dylan Wiest (Wiesty) - arrangement, drums, Fender Rhodes
- Anthony Lofton - tenor saxophone
- J Damashii - trumpet
- Markus B. (Nostalvania) - piano, synths
- Doug Perry (DrumUltimA) - vibraphone
- Alejandro Espinosa - guitar, bass
It's time to take a rock theme and smoove it out, as Wiesty lays out his influences and the group's approach riffing on a Robin Beanland favorite, the main theme to Rare's Killer Instinct:
"Killer Instinct was one of my favorite games growing up, with its enormously varied soundtrack and cutting-edge graphics. I knew that any SNES album would not be complete without a track from this game, which I feel is a very underappreciated OST. My main concept with this track was to arrange it in a neo-soul/Robert Glasper-esque style, with a heavy emphasis on modern harmonies and breakbeat drumming. The track is essentially divided into two halves, with Alejandro and Markus shredding some solos on guitar and synths, respectively, in the first half. The beginning of the track comes to a bit of a pause, featuring Ale's excellent work on bass, before the entire track begins to build to the end, with Doug, Alejandro, Markus, and Anthony all soloing overtop of each other creating a cacophony of solos until the end of the piece. This section, as well as the intro, were difficult to coordinate, as you never truly know how the musicians are going to interact with each other in a non-live situation, but everyone's musicality and virtuosity really shines through."
There's a LOT of soloing in them thar hills, so this piece maintains the progression and rhythms derived from the intro as a backing element much of the way to glue the arrangement together. Listeners will absolutely pick up on the contrast of the second half with the first, as the changeup at 5:27 was indeed a tale of two tones, the latter half going super mellow and ramping up with the bass and vibes more in the lead, in comparison with the electric guitar and synths beforehand. There's something liberating about not holding fast to the dark, tense mood of "The Instinct". We can't imagine Jago, Glacius, and Spinal ultra-ing opponents to this, no, but that would definitely miss the point; Mode Seven isn't just an album name, it was a Super Nintendo feature that allowed for unique perspectives. Wiesty and the OCJC moving this tune in the neo-soul direction was quite the unique perspective indeed, a bold move in an album full of bold moves! ;-)
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Killer Instinct (Nintendo
Music by Graeme Norgate,Robin Beanland
- "The Instinct"
- Brass,Electric Guitar,Electric Piano,Piano,Saxophone,Synth,Vibraphone
- Arrangement > Extended Soloing
Production > Live Instruments
Time > Duration: Long
Time > Tempo: Fast
- 14,901,956 bytes
- Size: 14,901,956 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 0ee57e2dc0d2c2a6190917f67dfc170d
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